Airline: American Airlines
Aircraft: Airbus a319
Time: 11:15 am
Flight path: DFW-CMH
Pre-flight & Boarding
My flight left out of terminal C, but since I arrived at the airport a little early I decided to spend my time in the Terminal D Admirals Club courtesy of my Admirals Club pass. This is the international terminal and is significantly nicer than all of the other terminals, so if you ever have a long layover here be sure to take the skylink over and check it out. They are actually working on a huge state of the art duty free section slated to open later this year in 2017. So that will be a great way to kill a layover in the future.
Since I had to take the skylink back over to terminal C I was able to get a great picture of the plane sitting at the gate.
We left from gate C30 and as usual there was a big crowd standing around waiting for the boarding process to begin. In all honesty, this probably slows down the boarding process. Despite this, boarding started at 10:45 on the dot and we had no issues, resulting in an on time departure.
The flight attendant even had time to come around and pass out pre-flight drinks. I went with an Orange Juice.
The first class cabin on this specific plane only has 8 seats. Given the time and destination of the flight it gave me better upgrade availability than if I had been leaving in the evening. While it is disappointing American is switching out 16 first class seats for 8 first class seats on a lot of the routes that used to be dominated by the MD-80, it is exciting that the overall product is significantly improved.
The seats are very comfortable with adjustable headrests and plenty of legroom. Given the size of the cabin there is plenty of overhead bin storage and these seats have the added benefit of an in seat laptop or tablet compartment (seems to only be designed for a laptop up to 13 inches or tablet).
My biggest disappointment with these seats came from the lack of in seat entertainment. It is pretty much impossible to tell on the a319 aircraft if the seats have in seat entertainment or not. They are retrofitting them with 8 seats in first class and taking on new orders with 8 seats in first class. However, only the new order aircraft have seat back entertainment.
Before getting too disappointed with this though, I must note that American now offers their entire entertainment selection over in flight Wi-Fi, but more on that in the next section. Overall I was very happy with the seat and the person next to me even commented on how much nicer it was than the MD-80 first class offering.
In-flight Service & Entertainment
For lunch on the flight they offered either a salad with grilled chicken or cheese lasagna and vegetables. The cabin was basically a 50/50 split between the two and I went with the cheese lasagna. This also came with a small side salad and a warm roll.
The lasagna came with a creamy vodka sauce and had great taste, but unfortunately it wasn’t left in the oven long enough as the middle was still a little cold. This was rather disappointing but since it wasn’t chicken or anything I wasn’t concerned about it being undercooked. They also served a cookie with the meal, which was excellent.
As I mentioned above these seats do not come equipped with seat back entertainment. When I first noticed this I wasn’t too happy but since American has now started loading their movie options on the go-go internet Wi-Fi it wasn’t a big deal at all. Make sure you have a wireless device capable of connecting to the inflight Wi-Fi so you can watch any of the current movies they have available.
I decided to watch “Bad Moms” on my iPad during the flight and I found it to be hilarious. And even better given the seat design, if you have an iPad with a magnetic case it works perfectly for holding it in place and you can watch as if the seat has seat back video screens.
My pro tip for your next flight would have to be ensuring you pack a Wi-Fi enabled device that will allow you to stream this selection of movies. I realize most people have a Wi-Fi enabled phone these days that would work for this, but my suggestion would be to have a device other than your phone since it will drain your battery and you probably want your phone available for use upon landing at your destination.
Overall I would have to say the flight was great. There were a few things I would have liked if they went differently, but they weren’t big enough issues for me to never want to fly this product again. The seat was comfortable, the cabin felt exclusive, and the in fight entertainment worked flawlessly even with the lack of seat back screens. The flight attendants were also attentive in refilling drinks and fulfilling requests. If anyone else has flown on this aircraft please share your thoughts below. Or if anyone has questions related to this leave them below and I am sure we can get them answered. Until next time!